José Gardea, Chief of Staff for local Councilmember Ed Reyes, told Patch on Friday that community meetings will be held this fall to lay out the plan for converting Veterans Square Memorial into a public park.
It was previously overseen by the Bureau of Street Services.
Gardea said the change in jurisdiction will allow the city to coordinate with Recreation and Parks' landscape architects to begin designing the future of the memorial.
But, what does that future hold? Gardea said that will be determined by the residents of Highland Park.
Gardea said a series of Charrettes--or design-focused community meetings--will be held in the fall to begin forming plans for the park.
"We're not walking in with any set parameters," Gardea said.
In a previous story about the memorial, transportation blogger Severin Martinez suggested that the park could be expanded by eliminating the right-turn-only lane that runs along its perimeter.
"I think a lot of people would like to see that happen, but you would have to be able to massage traffic patterns," Gardea said. "A lot of these ideas have positives and negatives."
Gardea said it was also possible that at least a portion the parking lot could be replaced with green space, should the Senior Center's leaders agree to such a plan.
Some work is already underway near the square. Last week, the low brick wall that runs along the Senior Center parking lot was removed. Gardea said it was done in the interest of public safety.
"The wall was built with a zig-zag design, which provided corners that were very conducive for setting up homeless camps or doing drugs," Gardea said.
He added that, while homelessness was a concern for Council District 1, it was not one that was directly tied to the revitalization of the memorial.
"The homeless issue is a real issue, whether or not we design a new park," he said.
Gardea said that the district has been in contact with the Los Anglees Homeless Services Authority, and has found that many of the homeless living around the memorial were not interested in receiving services.
"It's difficult when you encounter refusal of service," he said .